Friday read by Aletheia Law: The remedy of specific performance


In today’s Friday read we will be looking at the remedy of specific performance in Ghana.

Did you know that the courts of Ghana can compel someone to do what he or she has agreed to do under a contract if they fail to abide by their own terms? That is the remedy of Specific Performance. It was developed to complement the remedy of damages (that is compensation).

A party to a contract can apply to the court to grant the remedy of Specific Performance when the other party to the contract has breached the terms of the contract. The court will hear each party’ side, review the terms of the contract and if the court finds that a party to the contract has defaulted, grant the remedy. It is important to note that this remedy is only given at the discretion of the court. This means that the Judge determines whether to award this remedy based on the facts of each case. Thus, it is not automatically granted once a default occurs.

Some instances where the court will give an order of specific performance are: in a sale of goods contract where the requesting party cannot get a satisfactory replacement of the promised goods, and, in a sale of goods contract where the defaulting party refuses to deliver the promised goods in their custody.

For a court to grant specific performance, some conditions must be met. They are:

  • A valid contract must exist between the parties
  • The requesting party must have performed their obligations under the contract whilst the other party is in default of their obligations;
  • The requesting party must have endured severe hardship due to the default; and
  • The remedy of damages must be insufficient for the default of the other party.

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